Kansas Duck Counts
Average historic waterfowl distribution, 2013-2022
Be sure to check out our Migration Map!
Stay in the know on waterfowl reports and duck counts across the country with our Migration Map.
Our map is updated daily throughout the season, is interactive with various species and observable date ranges, and is completely free-to-use!
Kansas duck counts, by the numbers...
If the question were asked, “What is the largest wetland area in the interior United States?” I’m sure areas in Arkansas and Mississippi would be common answers, and many would be surprised to hear that the answer is Kansas’s Cheyenne Bottoms. In a similar way, while it may not be the first thought that comes to mind when one thinks of “waterfowling destinations”, Kansas has some of the finest duck and goose hunting the country has to offer and is severely underrated.
November in Kansas is historically very good, with duck counts generally respectable throughout much of the state.
Areas in the southeastern portion of the state, Marais Des Cynges and Neosho mainly, both hold large amounts of ducks early in the season (and throughout the entirety of the season, for that matter). In central Kansas, the reservoirs in and around Reno County usually have a respectable amount of waterfowl in November, and just to the northwest, Barton County (home of Cheyenne Bottoms) holds an incredible amount of ducks as well. In the north, Glen Elder usually holds a respectable amount of waterfowl.
December in Kansas usually means the arrival of mallards in good numbers. While waterfowl hunting is historically very good throughout the entire season in Kansas, as far as duck counts are concerned, numbers show December is when the population passing through is at its relatively lowest point. The good thing though is that “relatively lowest point” in this state still means generally moderate numbers.
Similar to in November, the southeastern portion of the state historically boasts high duck counts in December, with Marais Des Cygnes, Neosho, and the areas in between having the highest concentrations.
In the central portion of the state, the reservoirs in and around Manhattan and Junction City boast respectable waterfowl counts, and in the south, areas in Harper County and Sumner County both have moderately high duck counts, historically.
By January, the majority of the new ducks entering the state are mallards, as the weather harshens and the other puddle ducks continue moving south. With the changing of the weather to harsher conditions, the areas where ducks concentrate in the state changes as well. Reservoirs that have held fair amounts of ducks throughout the season begin holding larger concentrations in January due to freezing of shallower water bodies and marshes.
In the southeast, aside from the usual areas, reservoirs in Labette County and Montgomery County (including the Elk City area) usually increase in duck numbers in January. In the central part of the state, the reservoirs along the North and South Solomon Rivers hold relatively high concentrations compared to their counts early in the season, and to the south, Cedar Bluff usually holds a high concentration of ducks in January as well.
About the Kansas Waterfowl Distribution Maps
The waterfowl distribution maps from Migration Station are contour maps created with a combination of historic migration data and harvest data from the US Fish & Wildlife Service which aim to display relative waterfowl distributions over certain periods of time throughout the season. These maps take into account Kansas duck counts, goose counts and general migration reports.
Due to the nature of contour creation and our methods of averaging large amounts of data from over a long period of recent history, this information is intended to represent a rough approximation. As such, these maps are meant to be illustrative in nature only, and actual concentrations vary year to year depending on a a variety of factors such as, but not limited to, weather, hunting pressure, available habitat, etc.